6 things you need to know about how to treat sciatica with physical therapy

how to treat sciatica

Experiencing sciatic pain? Understanding how to treat sciatica with physical therapy can help produce a successful outcome. When seeking physical therapy for your sciatica, it is often helpful to understand the essential elements of a treatment plan. Learning more about how physical therapy sciatica treatments work can help you to decide what kind of treatment best fits your needs.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. This nerve runs from the lower back into the lower parts of both legs. Because of its size and importance, issues affecting the sciatic nerve can have a major impact on the way you function. One such issue is called sciatica. Sciatica is the compression of the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve is compressed, you might experience symptoms like pain, tingling and numbness in your leg. The most common causes of sciatica include herniated discs and spinal stenosis. Sciatica is often a result of a spinal or leg injury. When addressing your sciatica, your physical therapist will take the root cause into account.

How to treat sciatica: 6 essential elements of care

  • Early intervention — Early intervention is key to successful treatment. By addressing your sciatica right away, your physical therapist can help prevent the onset of more symptoms and complications. Sciatica is not a condition that should be ignored. If your sciatica is caused by an injury, it may continue for many months if left untreated. The goal of physical therapy is to address the source of your pain and prevent it from getting worse. By promoting healing, receiving physical therapy treatments early can help you get a head start on recovery.

  • Tailored exercise — Physical therapists design customized exercise routines for each patient. These routines are designed to address unique needs and physical capabilities. Your personalized regimen might include exercises for improving flexibility. Stretching can help reduce muscle tension that could be contributing to your sciatica. With the right exercise plan, you can boost your health and alleviate pressure on your sciatic nerve.

  • Core strengthening — A central element of most sciatica exercise regimens is building core strength. The core muscles play an essential role in supporting the spine. If these muscles are too weak, you may experience issues with spinal alignment. The spine is deeply interconnected with the sciatic nerve. By supporting your spine, you can help reduce sciatic pain. Core exercises will typically engage your abdominal, back and pelvic muscles.

  • Flexibility exercises — Flexibility exercises are another major aspect of sciatica recovery. Tight muscles, particularly in the lower back and legs, can contribute to sciatic nerve impingement. Reducing muscle tightness can then reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. Your physical therapist may prescribe exercises focused on improving your range of motion and lowering muscle tension. The particular focus of your exercise routine will largely depend on your underlying condition. Because sciatica is caused by other conditions, it is often considered to be more of a symptom than a condition in itself. Exercises to target the root condition can help you experience lasting relief from your sciatica.

  • Manual therapy — Sciatica is often related to specific musculoskeletal issues. Once your physical therapist understands the source of your sciatica, they can apply targeted treatments like manual therapy. Manual therapy is a form of hands-on therapeutic treatment used to mobilize and manipulate tissue. In addition to relieving muscle tension, manual therapy can be an excellent way to trigger natural healing. Many manual therapy techniques promote circulation to ensure that each muscle receives the nutrients it needs. Encouraging overall healing in your body can be essential to treating sciatica with long-term relief in mind.

  • Posture correction — Poor posture can exacerbate sciatic nerve pain. To treat sciatica, learning how to maintain good posture is a step in the right direction. A physical therapist can evaluate your posture to identify any risk factors. They can then provide guidance on how to improve your posture during everyday activities. By maintaining proper body alignment, you can prevent unnecessary spinal strain.

Specialists at Armor Physical Therapy know how to treat sciatica

Looking for a reliable method of addressing your sciatica? At Armor Physical Therapy, our team understands how to treat sciatica with a dynamic and personalized approach. From targeted exercises to manual therapy, we can help you get the treatment you need.

Call us or request an appointment today and let’s work together to treat your sciatica.

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